BORDEAUX EN PRIMEUR

Bordeaux En Primeur

Vintage Wine Bottle Size Unit of sale Qty of unit Qty of btl Btl price (HKD) Score Location
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 750 BOTTLE 108 108 850 WA92-94 EP
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 12000 OWC1 2 2 20,000 WA92-94 EP
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 15000 OWC1 2 2 26,000 WA92-94 EP
2021 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion 750 OWC3 40 120 800 WA91-93+ EP
2020 Chateau Beychevelle 750 BOTTLE 59 59 900 WA94-96 EP
2021 Chateau Canon 750 OWC6 2 12 950 WA94-96 EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc 750 OWC3 4 12 4,500 WA95-97 EP
2018 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc 750 OWC3 18 54 1,280 WA95 EP
2020 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc 750 OWC3 8 24 1,280 - EP
2018 Chateau Duhart Milon 750 OWC6 3 18 700 WA93-95 EP
2019 Chateau Haut Bailly 750 OWC12 10 120 1,080 WA97-99 EP
2020 Chateau Haut Bailly 750 BOTTLE 66 66 1,180 WA96-98+ EP
2019 Chateau Haut Bailly - Haut Bailly II 750 BOTTLE 44 44 350 WA88-90 EP
2020 Chateau Haut Bailly - Haut Bailly II 750 BOTTLE 48 48 350 WA87-89 EP
2021 Chateau Haut Brion 750 OWC6 6 36 4,500 WA96-98 EP
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 6000 BOTTLE 1 1 75,000 WA97-99 EP
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 OWC6 2 12 7,500 WA97-99 EP
2021 Chateau Lafite Rothschild 750 OWC3 3 9 5,500 WA95-97 EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 750 BOTTLE 120 120 250 - EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 1500 BOTTLE 120 120 550 - EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 750 BOTTLE 120 120 250 WA92-94 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red 1500 BOTTLE 120 120 550 WA92-94 EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village White 750 BOTTLE 108 108 250 WA91-93 EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Les Perrieres 750 BOTTLE 60 60 750 - EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Les Perrieres 1500 BOTTLE 21 21 1,650 - EP
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 850 / BTL 108 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
108
Qty of btl
108
Btl price (HKD)
850
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
12000 ml OWC1 EP HKD 20,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
12000
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
20,000
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2020 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
15000 ml OWC1 EP HKD 26,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
15000
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
26,000
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Calicem - Calicem Saint Emilion
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 800 / BTL 40 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
40
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
800
Score
WA91-93+
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Beychevelle
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 900 / BTL 59 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
59
Qty of btl
59
Btl price (HKD)
900
Score
WA94-96
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Canon
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 950 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
950
Score
WA94-96
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 4,500 / BTL 4 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
4,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2018 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 1,280 / BTL 18 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
18
Qty of btl
54
Btl price (HKD)
1,280
Score
WA95
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval Blanc
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 1,280 / BTL 8 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
8
Qty of btl
24
Btl price (HKD)
1,280
Score
-
Location
EP
2018 Chateau Duhart Milon
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 700 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
18
Btl price (HKD)
700
Score
WA93-95
Location
EP
2019 Chateau Haut Bailly
750 ml OWC12 EP HKD 1,080 / BTL 10 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
10
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
1,080
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Haut Bailly
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 1,180 / BTL 66 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
66
Qty of btl
66
Btl price (HKD)
1,180
Score
WA96-98+
Location
EP
2019 Chateau Haut Bailly - Haut Bailly II
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 350 / BTL 44 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
44
Qty of btl
44
Btl price (HKD)
350
Score
WA88-90
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Haut Bailly - Haut Bailly II
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 350 / BTL 48 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
48
Qty of btl
48
Btl price (HKD)
350
Score
WA87-89
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Haut Brion
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 4,500 / BTL 6 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
36
Btl price (HKD)
4,500
Score
WA96-98
Location
EP
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
6000 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 75,000 / BTL 1 BTL available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
75,000
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2019 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml OWC6 EP HKD 7,500 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
7,500
Score
WA97-99
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
750 ml OWC3 EP HKD 5,500 / BTL 3 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
9
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
WA95-97
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 250 / BTL 120 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
250
Score
-
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
1500 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 550 / BTL 120 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
550
Score
-
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 250 / BTL 120 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
250
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village Red
1500 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 550 / BTL 120 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
120
Qty of btl
120
Btl price (HKD)
550
Score
WA92-94
Location
EP
2021 Chateau Lafleur - Chateau Grand Village White
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 250 / BTL 108 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
108
Qty of btl
108
Btl price (HKD)
250
Score
WA91-93
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Les Perrieres
750 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 750 / BTL 60 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
60
Qty of btl
60
Btl price (HKD)
750
Score
-
Location
EP
2020 Chateau Lafleur - Les Perrieres
1500 ml BOTTLE EP HKD 1,650 / BTL 21 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
21
Qty of btl
21
Btl price (HKD)
1,650
Score
-
Location
EP
Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business. 根據香港法律,不得在業務過程中,向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。 The wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. Title to all wine remains with The Fine Wine Experience until paid for in full.提供的货物仍有待售。 货物所有权只在收到全额付款到The Fine Wine Experience的帐户後转移。
HK / HK storage; ready for delivery within 1-2 business days.
HK-Shop / available for in-store purchase in Sai Ying Pun.
HK Pre-arrival wines in transit to Hong Kong. Please contact us for arrival estimate.
En-Primeur / wines still in chateau; will arrange delivery to once wine is received in HK

2021 IN SUMMARY

After a string of solar vintages 2021 offers – at its best – a modern day version of the classic expression of Bordeaux reds – cooler, more restrained, lower in alcohol, higher in natural acidity, wines of elegance and finesse. If that appeals to you, read on, as these wines exist in 2021 in a way that we have not seen for a while.

2021 was also very tricky – early Spring frosts, late Spring mildew issues, a lacklustre summer – saved in the best cases by a good finish to Summer and a prolonged harvest window into Autumn. This is a mixed year for reds and a good year for whites. Careful buying is needed, but there are definitely wines worth your attention. Read on for my take from a few days in Bordeaux in April 2022 visiting and tasting.

THE VINTAGE 2021

Each year when I visit Véronique Sanders at Château Haut-Bailly I am always intrigued to see which colour and word she has chosen for the vintage booklet to sum up the year. For each of the past few years its been a solid colour, but this year it looked more like a wash of every possibility. “This year we had everything in one year!” Veronique told me on my visit this April. Her key word? “Mindful”: perhaps a play on the notion of the stoicism needed to be humble each day before nature; perhaps too a wink to us, the enthusiast, that here we might have a vintage offering something less exuberant, more cerebral?

‘Throughout the year, extreme weather conditions have tested our know-how and professionalism. Never before have we been so close to the earth… 2021 is a vintage of hard work and humility’, writes Sanders in the booklet. Let’s go briefly through the key steps in vintage 2021.

Winter was mild and wet, with Château Margaux recording 230mm of rain in the first two months of 2021. That led to a familiar early bud break – something that global warming has led, paradoxically, to generate risk from frost.

And yep, Early Spring delivered on that risk in spades! Frost threatened vineyards for ten nights in early April. Depending on investment and budget châteaux are throwing everything at this – from the classic paraffin lamps / smudge pots that disturb falling freezing air; to protecting buds with a thin layer of ice using water sprinkling (‘aspersion’) – the damage only occurring a few degrees cooler, so this ice insulates; to wind turbines, helicopters, gas chimneys and so on. Still, the damage was significant, but uneven, from Château Lafleur in Pomerol reporting no damage (and many châteaux within the mitigating influence of the Gironde in the Médoc reporting very little), through to devastating levels, such as Château Suduiraut in Sauternes reporting plot by plot damage of between 30% and 100%.

But wait, there’s more! Late Spring brought on perfect conditions for mildew – plenty of rain followed by mild humid conditions. The increasing number of organic and biodynamic estates had only copper and sulphur as the main defence, but these are contact treatments and can only be used a limited number of times. Château Lafleur used a mix that included orange juice! (the citric acid burns mildew spores apparently). Most estates had losses, for some it was catastrophic.

This warm, then wet pattern continued into Summer, with the weather changing only in mid-August. 2021 did not bring the heatwave spike that would see that ‘solar’ influence in the wine – that mid-palate richness. It’s not there because it didn’t come. But what did come was fine, more settled weather, and a crop that had been reduced by frost and mildew that could now get on with ripening.

The key fortunate aspect of 2021 is that the settled weather stayed on through September and into October for harvest. 2021 is a late, extended season. This is the crucial ‘plus’ for 2021.

In terms of the style of the reds there are two key steps in my view. The first is that a château waited for full phenolic ripeness and selected vigorously to eliminate inferior grapes. Nothing after this step would improve the wine. At this point a château might bleed off juice to improve the ratio between skins and liquid, to beef up the wine’s concentration. But to my taste that doesn’t lead anywhere better than what the raw materials gave – the lack of ‘fat’ from the missing good summer cannot be replaced this way. It can lead to a sullen, concentrated, but oddly lifeless wine. The spark is just there to begin with or its not. Secondly, extractions had to be quite careful – some made a good decision with poorer material to go really light, and at least these will make tasty short term restaurant sort of wines. Châteaux with really good material in 2021 could do something fairly close to normal ion the winery. However, extractions that went too far over-emphasise the cooler tone of the tannins, and sometimes the bitterness of unripe phenolics. Again, boo!

But, the best of the 2021 reds are Bordeaux’s ace card, because only Bordeaux can produce this sort of ripe but knife-edge so, juicy, elegant yet complex, appetising, food-friendly, sweet-savoury, lively, low-alcohol wines that got us excited with the region in the first place (and I feel is still a key to its USP today). That’s why I’m actually quite excited about some of the 2021 reds. I like my 1996 Médocs and my 1978s for this reason, and its why I know I will want some of these 2021s for myself too.

When I look through my notes – much like those for ‘78 and ‘96, some of the great Cabernet terroirs seem to shine through. A really commendable Pichon Longueville Baron (94-95) saw 88% Cabernet Sauvignon – the highest proportion they have ever used. Latour (94-95) used 96% Cabernet Sauvignon in the grand vin, and Angelus (92-94) used 60% Cabernet Franc, ‘this is the first in the history of Angelus’. Certainly when I look through my notes it seems the high proportion Cabernet wines (Sauvignon and/or Franc) seemed to lead the pack. That said, La Conseillante (95-96) – 85% Merlot, and Vieux Château Certan (96-97) – 77% Merlot, also came out tops, so read into that what you will at this stage!

For the whites its easier – it’s a really successful year. While reds have all that support from the tannins and phenol compounds, whites really need a good balance of fruit and acidity. They need tension. I know that in Hong Kong we don’t drink so much white Bordeaux, but we are missing out for that. White Bordeaux behaves in just the way we like – with tension between fruit richness and acidity, and with a buffered roundness to the texture and flavour from oak cask ageing. White Bordeaux offers this same package with its own musky, alluring aromatic profile. The 2017 white from Château Smith Haut Lafitte is one of my current drinking favourites, and I love it at Bâtard, because I know that even if we move on to some reds, this white will work with the starters, with the roast chicken and with the cheese. You can bookend a meal in this way with a great white Bordeaux. The best 2021 whites have this richness, tension and aromatic complexity. It’s a vintage in which to consider the best of the whites en primeur, and then to remember this as a ‘white year’ when looking later at options in bottle and on restaurant wine lists. Like the great ‘17s I now have ‘21 tucked mentally away for whites.

Dry White Bordeaux

Aile d’Argent Blanc    (89-91)
Château Carbonnieux Blanc    (91-92)
Les Charmes-Godard Blanc    (90-91)
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc    (91-92/
92-93)    
Château Cos d’Estournel Blanc    (93-94)
Pagodes de Cos Blanc    (91-93)
Château Fieuzal Blanc    (88-89/
89-90)    
Château Haut-Brion Blanc    (95-96)
La Clarté de Haut-Brion Blanc    (87-89?)
Château Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc    (91-92)
Château Latour Martillac Blanc    (89-91)
Blanc de Château Lynch-Bages Blanc    (91-92)
Château Malartic Lagravière Blanc    (92-94)
Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc    (93-94)
Château Pape Clément Blanc    (91-92)
Clementin de Pape Clément Blanc    (88-89)
Pavillon Blanc    (92-94)
Château Puygueraud Blanc    (87-88)
Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc    (92-93)
Les Hauts de Smith Blanc    (89-90)
Lions de Suduiraut Blanc Sec    (88-89)
Château La Tour Carnet Blanc    (85-86)

The Right Bank

Château Alcée    (86-87)
Château Angelus    (92-94)
Carillon d’Angelus    (90-91)
Château Ausone    (93-94)
La Chapelle d’Ausone    (90-91)
Château Bellevue-Mondotte    (87-88)
Calicem    (92-93)
Château Cheval Blanc    (95-97)
Petit Cheval    (90-91)
Château La Clotte    (89-90)
Château La Conseillante    (95-96)
Château Couvent des Jacobins    (91-92)
Château Figéac    (93-95)
Château Le Gay    (90-91)
Manoir de Gay    (88-89)
Château Larcis-Ducasse    (91-92)
Clos Lunelles    (88-89)
Château Monbousquet    (90-91)
Château Montviel    (90-91)
Château Pavie    (91-92?)
Arômes de Pavie    (89-91)
Château Pavie-Decesse    (89-90)
Château Pavie-Macquin    (92-93)
Château La Prade    (90-91)
Château Puygueraud    (87-88)
Château Quinault L’Enclos    (89-91)
Château Troplong-Mondot    (92-94)
Mondot    (N/R)
Château Valandraud    (92-93)
Virginie de Valandraud    (90-91)
Vieux Château Certan    (96-97)
Château La Violette    (92-93)

Graves / Pessac-Léognan    

Château Carbonnieux    (86-87)
Château Carmes Haut-Brion    (91-92)
C de Château Carmes Haut-Brion    (90-92)
Domaine de Chevalier    (88-89/
90-91)    
Château Fieuzal    (84-87?/
86-87)    
Château Haut-Bailly    (93-94)
Haut-Bailly II    (88-89)
Château Haut-Brion    (93-94)
Le Clarence de Haut-Brion    (89-90)
Château Malartic-Lagravière    (86-87)
Château La Mission Haut-Brion    (91-93)
La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion    (88-89)
Château Le Pape    (87-88)
Château Pape Clément    (90-91)
Clementin de Pape Clement    (86-88)
Château Smith Haut Lafitte    (86-88?)

Médoc    

Château Potensac    (88-90)

Margaux

Château Brane-Cantenac    (89-91)
Baron de Brane    (86-87)
Château Margaux    (93-95)
Pavillon Rouge    (90-91)
Château Palmer    (91-92+)
Alter Ego de Palmer    (88-90)

St.-Julien

Château Beychevelle    (90-92/
90-91)    
Château Branaire-Ducru    (85-86)
Clos du Marquis    (88-90)
Château Ducru Beaucaillou    (92-94)
La Croix de Beaucaillou    (91-92)
Château Gloria    (85-86)
Château Gruaud-Larose    (90-91)
Château Lagrange    (88-90)
Château Langoa-Barton    (90-92)
Château Léoville-Barton    (90-91)
Château Léoville-las-Cases    (93-95)
Château Léoville Poyferré    (88-89?)
Château Saint-Pierre    (86-87)
Château Talbot    (91-92)

Pauillac

Château d’Armailhac    (88-89/
85-87)    
Château Batailley    (88-89)
Château Clerc-Milon    (86-87/
88-89)    
Château Duhart-Milon    (90-91)
Moulin de Duhart    (86-88)
Château Grand Puy Lacoste    (93-94)
Lacoste-Borie    (90-91)
Château Haut-Batailley    (91-93)
Château Lafite-Rothschild    (90-92)
Carruades de Lafite    (87-88)
Château Latour    (94-95)
Les Forts de Latour    (92-94)
Pauillac    (89-90)
Château Lynch-Bages    (91-92?)
Château Mouton-Rothschild    (89-91?)
Petit Mouton    (85-86)
Château Pibran    (87-88)
Château Pichon Longueville Baron    (94-95/
94-95)    
Les Griffons de Pichon Baron    (90-91)
Les Tourelles de Longueville    (89-90)
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande    (90-92)
Château Pontet-Canet    (93-94)

St.-Estephe

Château Calon-Segur    (92-93)
La Marquise de Calon-Segur    (90-91)
Château Capbern    (88-90)
Château Cos d’Estournel    (92-94)
Pagodes de Cos    (89-90)
Château Lafon-Rochet    (83-85)
Château Montrose    (95-97)
La Dame de Montrose    (91-93)
Château Les Ormes de Pez    (91-92)
Château Phélan-Ségur    (87-88)
Château Tronquoy-Lalande    (92-93)

Sauternes

Château Coutet    (94-96)
Château Suduiraut    (96-99)

TO BUY, OR NOT TO BUY?

It’s easy to overlook the fact that these are not yet finished wines. They are in cask. My notes and judgements below – like those of anyone tasting from cask – are provisional, because a wine can turn out better or worse in bottle. These are baby wines, and samples from cask can taste quite different on different days. It’s my experience that a wine tasted even on the same day, but at two locations (e.g. the château, and then at a UGC commune tasting) can show differently. Indeed in cases where I have tasted twice I have given you my two impressions (and two scores) separated by a “||”.

That caveat out of the way, there are wines that give real confidence right from the outset and I set those out in my recommendations list below. Pricing is always a crucial factor, and here a lot of factors come in to play. The customer should always feel, en primeur, that they are getting the best deal by buying early. The customer is, after all, helping the château with cashflow by buying as futures wines that won’t be delivered until after bottling, and then need cellaring (incurring storage costs along the way). Taking a look at back vintage prices is a useful guide. Is this is a château on the up? Did they outperform the vintage? Does the current weak Euro against the Dollar (and by extension against the HKD) make this a good moment to buy in our market? Is being able to specify bottle formats like halves, magnums or large formats of interest? Is complete ownership of provenance from shipping to cellaring to bottle opening something to value? Was 2021 a special year to ‘lock in’ now with ownership, to commemorate later on birthdays and anniversaries? These are all questions to consider. We are here to provide tailored advice, so do get in touch with us as the offers come through during the campaign.

A NOTE OF CAUTION

When we taste en primeur we are tasting wine that has been made, but not finished. It still has many months still to evolve in cask, before bottling. Blends are made up by châteaux and put into bottle especially for the trade and journalists to taste. At some châteaux the final blend is already made, though selection from different coopers and the right proportion of new and used barrels drawn to represent the ‘final blend’. At other châteaux the final blend is not yet decided – they will wait to see how each lot, and barrel progresses, so the blend offered is a sort of guestimate. But in either case, the wine can show quite differently from different bottles and at different locations and circumstances. As has been my practice each year, when I have tasted a wine more than once I include both tasting notes and scores. Usually they are not too far apart, but sometimes they can be. But I would prefer you to see that than to pretend that an individual tasting note of an infant wine is more definitive than the author can ever hope it to be.